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The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.

 

These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant
@andyedwardsbiz

22 Oct 2019 | Press release

Moves Recordings announce Afro Nation agreement

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22 Oct 2019 | Press release

IFPI and WIN announce cross-industry collaboration on recording industry data exchange service

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22 Oct 2019 | Press release

Reservoir makes raft of UK signings

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22 Oct 2019 | Press release

LyricFind partners with Fender to provide lyrics to the music brand's latest app

LyricFind is pleased to announce a partnership with Fender Music Instruments Corporation, to provide lyrics to its new app, Fender Songs. The app allows users to practice, play along, and perform to millions of their favorite songs on guitar, ukulele or piano. Fender Songs...more

22 Oct 2019 | Press release

Centtrip opens ‘European hub’ in Amsterdam

 New office will Extend Company’s Reach in Mainland Europe   Centtrip, the UK’s leading financial technology (FinTech) company providing intelligent treasury management services for the music and wider entertainment industries, has announced the launch of a new office in Amsterdam to oversee...more

21 Oct 2019 | Press release

Hache signs to Sian Anderson’s Saint Music

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21 Oct 2019 | Press release

Shani Gonzales named Head of International, EVP of US, A&R for Warner Chappell Music

Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has announced the appointment of music industry veteran Shani Gonzales as Head of International, Executive Vice President of U.S., A&R. Based in New York, she will report to WCM Co-Chair & CEO Guy Moot. Gonzales was...more

20 Oct 2019 | Press release

PRS for Music Explores: Artificial Intelligence

  Political figures and leading business professionals discuss potential affects artificial intelligence could have on music industry. Emma McClarkin, former MEP and technology and international trade specialist says: Technology is changing the world we live in, from the way we discover music to...more

18 Oct 2019 | Press release

App Wizards and Beer Indices: How Viberate Generates Festival Mobile Apps and Landing Pages with Robust Data

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18 Oct 2019 | Press release

Rosie Hill and Patrick Cloherty promoted after record year for Sentric sync team

Company’s sync revenue up 41% YoY in 2018   Sentric Music Group’s award-winning sync team has undergone a significant reshuffle with two key promotions and other movements within the department. Sentric’s sync business saw year-on-year revenue growth of 41% in 2018. Key syncs...more

17 Oct 2019 | Press release

DCMS Minister Nigel Adams backs the best of British music

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17 Oct 2019 | Press release

Hipgnosis raises £231m

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17 Oct 2019 | Press release

MelodyVR partners with O2 as 5G launches

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17 Oct 2019 | Press release

UK Trade Mission aims to boost British music in Brazil

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17 Oct 2019 | Press release

AWAL Promotes Aaron Bogucki to Vice President, Marketing

AWAL, Kobalt’s recording company, today announced the promotion of Aaron Bogucki to Vice President, Marketing. Based in Kobalt’s London office, Bogucki will oversee a more integrated marketing and digital marketing team focused on creative marketing campaigns and audience development strategy...more

16 Oct 2019 | Press release

Hipgnosis Songs Fund acquires Timbaland catalogue

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16 Oct 2019 | Press release

Ben Cook Steps Down as President of Atlantic Records

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16 Oct 2019 | Press release

Q Awards 2019 winners announced

The world's greatest night in music, the Q Awards, took place this evening with artists, fans and industry alike coming together to celebrate the best music 2019 has had to offer. At Camden's legendary Roundhouse, the awards were hosted by one...more

15 Oct 2019 | Press release

Accelerator programme for music managers reveals successes as applications open for 2020

UK based music managers are urged to apply for the MMF and YouTube Music’s groundbreaking grants and education initiative. Accelerator has received repeat backing from Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association. Accelerator offers 12-month support of...more

15 Oct 2019 | Press release

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) announce newly appointed directors

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) today announces the appointment of seven new Directors who have joined its Company Board.   The newly-appointed Directors of the not-for-profit organisation – which exists to represent and develop Scotland’s music industry – are...more

15 Oct 2019 | Press release

Spotify Presents: Who We Be Live 2019

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15 Oct 2019 | Press release

Deezer signs exclusive deal with Targetspot for ad sales in 5 countries

Targetspot to exclusively sell Deezer’s audio ad inventory in the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy ·     Deezer, the global music streaming service, has signed a two year agreement with Targetspot, the world’s leading digital audio platform, for...more

15 Oct 2019 | Press release

Did you know that just 14% of composers and 20% of signed recording artists in the UK are women?

Counting the Music Industry is a gender gap analysis of over 300 music publishers and record labels in the UK. This research reveals that just over 14% of writers currently signed to publishers and just under 20% of artists signed...more

15 Oct 2019 | Press release

Rufus Wainwright signs global deal with BMG for upcoming new studio album

Award-winning, critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright has signed a new global recordings agreement with BMG to release his upcoming studio album. His ninth album of original material, and first with BMG, follows his last full-length release, Out Of The Game,...more

15 Oct 2019 | Press release

Soundwhale Lets You Share Your Studio with Anyone in the World

New software for remote audio collaboration with video sync launches  Remote collaboration on audio projects is not where it should be, especially when working with video. Asynchronous back-and-forth communication can kill creativity in the studio. Laggy, jittery feeds, over compressed streams,...more

14 Oct 2019 | Press release

YUNGBLUD, AJ Tracey and Jax Jones announced for Radio 1's Teen Awards

YUNGBLUD, AJ TRACEY AND JAX JONES ANNOUNCED FOR RADIO 1’S TEEN AWARDS -       HOSTED BY GREG JAMES, MOLLIE KING AND MAYA JAMA - BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards is set to return for a one day spectacular across radio, TV &...more

14 Oct 2019 | Press release

Bring Me The Horizon Launch First Spotify Data-Driven Personalised Merch

amoincolour.com Fans of UK rock band Bring Me The Horizon can now put their own stamp on the band’s swag with the brand new ‘amo in colour’ experience. In a world-first initiative connecting streaming with physical merchandise, the ‘amo in colour’...more

11 Oct 2019 | Press release

Artist & Manager Awards

SAM FENDER & OWAIN DAVIES TO RECEIVE THE FANFAIR ALLIANCE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO LIVE MUSIC INSANITY GROUP'S ANDY VARLEY TO RECEIVE OUR 2019 ENTREPRENEUR AWARD SANDY DWORNIAK, FOUNDER OF THIS MUCH TALENT,  TO RECEIVE THE WRITER/PRODUCER MANAGER AWARD IN ASSOCIATION...more

11 Oct 2019 | Press release

The latest songwriters and writer producers to receive support through the Writer Producer Fund announced

Seven new writer-producers receive career-changing support   PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development announces today the latest recipients to receive support through The Writer Producer Fund.   The supported songwriters/writer-producers are: Dominic Lyttle – Dom Lyttle, known as the...more

11 Oct 2019 | Press release

YMU Group Launches Wide-Ranging Mental Health & Well Being Initiative

To coincide with World Mental Health Day , which took place this week on Thursday October 10, international artist management company YMU Group has launched a wide-ranging mental health and well-being initiative that will take a forward thinking approach to...more

23 Oct 2019

22 Oct 2019

  • Ben Cooper to leave the BBC (see Media)

  • Noel Gallagher, Raye and Camila Cabello among those honoured at BMI London Awards (see News)

21 Oct 2019

  • PRS for Music show use of music across on-demand TV platforms rises (see News)

18 Oct 2019

  • Vivendi could sell an additional minority stake in Universal; Strong Q3 results announced (see Business)

  • Modest! launches TV production company (see Media)

17 Oct 2019

  • Ben Cook leaves Atlantic Records UK (see Business)

  • Mixcloud report revenue and costs leap (see Business)

  • Hipgnosis raises £231m in a new round (see Business)

16 Oct 2019

  • Queen, Eminem and Ariana Grande hit significant milestones on Spotify (see News)

  • Hipgnosis Songs Fund acquires Timbaland catalogue (see Deals)

15 Oct 2019

  • Executive to lead Spotify's global strategy for editorial and programming sought (see Digital)

14 Oct 2019

  • Appeal against Dark Horse copyright infringement ruling (see News)

11 Oct 2019

  • TaP Management make key promotions; secure LA office (see Business)

  • Spotify UK’s operating profit increases by 125% year-on-year (see Business)

  • More Artist & Manager Awards recipients announced (see News)

10 Oct 2019

  • Andy Daniell appointed to lead FFRR Records (see Business)

  • Shazam grew its user base from 400m to 478m active users in 2018 (see Digital)